Benton Harbor protest against emergency manager

6:23 PM, Apr 27, 2011   |    comments
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Benton Harbor residents held a rally in protest of the state's emergency manager law.

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (WZZM) -- Hundreds of people gathered in Benton Harbor Wednesday to protest Michigan's emergency financial manager law.

The Berrien County city was taken over by a financial manager in last year.

On Wednesday, a group of protestors gathered to speak out against the actions of the emergency financial manager, Joe Harris.

Harris was appointed by former Gov. Jennifer Granholm, but when Gov. Rick Snyder took office, he helped pass a new law giving financial managers more power. Harris has since taken the decision-making power away from Benton Harbor's local government including the mayor.

"An elected official is being fired, plus the eight commissioners, by a person that wasn't even elected to office," says Rev. Edward Pinkney, one of Wednesday's protesters. "That's incredible. I mean, who would believe it. What your talking about is taxation without representation."

The city of Benton Harbor is facing severe financial problems with allegations of mishandled tax payments and sloppy bookkeeping.

The emergency financial manager has said in the past that he is just doing what's good for Benton Harbor.

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